Bogotá, Colombia, February 8, 2021 – The International Rescue Committee welcomes today’s announcement of temporary protection status for Venezuelan migrants. This initiative, presented by the Colombian government today, will be essential to protect the rights of Venezuelans who arrived before January 31, offering them the possibility of obtaining a resident visa over the next ten years as well as granting the authorization to stay in the country and access work opportunities and basic services.
Marianne Menjivar, IRC Country Director for Colombia and Venezuela, said
“Every day, the needs of Venezuelans in Colombia are increasing, exacerbated by the effects of the pandemic. Colombia has become the South American country hosting the largest number of Venezuelan migrants, welcoming more than 1.7 million to date. Regularization initiatives like the one announced today are a step towards protecting people living in vulnerable conditions, giving them tools to rebuild their lives. Nonetheless, increased funding and support from the international community will be necessary and essential to maintain such reception policies and to help other countries in the region adopt similar measures.
IRC’s response in Colombia includes the protection of children and adolescents with psychosocial services and education; protect and empower women victims of gender-based violence; provide access to vital health care; and supporting the economic well-being of people.
In response to COVID-19, IRC set up mobile health clinics, including at the Venezuelan border, expanded emergency cash programming, and adapted existing health and protection services to enable assistance to distance.
In 2020, the IRC launched the Colombian instance of the Global Signpost project, InfoPalante, a digital platform to help displaced populations access information on civil and legal rights, jobs, access to health care and COVID-19.
Currently, IRC is building relationships with local partners on the border between Colombia and Ecuador. Learn more about the IRC response in Colombia.
The International Rescue Committee responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises, helping to restore health, security, education, economic well-being and power to people devastated by conflict and disaster. Founded in 1933 at the call of Albert Einstein, IRC works in more than 40 countries and more than 20 American cities to help people survive, take back control of their future and strengthen their communities. . Learn more at www.rescue.org and follow IRC at Twitter & Facebook.